Jul 02 2007

As Promised, More Info…

Category: Friends,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 3:12 am

on Alex…
So, as you will already know if you have read the previous posts, our friend Alex is now here in Kazakhstan. Her journey over here was a little more eventful than any of us thought it would be. Her flight originally had a 2 hour stop over in Kaliningrad, before completing her journey here in Astana. Unfortunately, some flight time changes were made, and the e-mail the travel broker sent to Alex explaining this was not at all clear. We discovered a day prior to her leaving Britain that she would in fact have to spend 26 hours in Kaliningrad. As she did not have a visa, or a place to stay there, we were hoping she could simply stay in the transit lounge between flights.
Unfortunately, Kaliningrad airport closes over night! Eventually, they locked her in the mother and baby room, which at least had beds, and made sure she was accompanied by airport staff at all times. Although it is obviously not nice to have your movements so restricted, once they had decided she was not a dodgy person trying to slip into the country, they made sure she was as comfortable as possible, and even fed her for free! (In fact over fed her, but that is a story for another time.)
I will hopefully be posting some pictures of where we have visited since Alex’s arrival, and may even be able to persuade her to write a post describing her views of Kazakhstan…

We originally thought she would be landing at Astana airport in 3 and a bit hours from now. Unfortunately none of us checked her tickets properly… instead of a 2 hour wait at Kaliningrad airport, it turns out she had a 26 hour wait!
At first we saw this as a pain in the bum, but nothing too major. After all, spending a day in a transit lounge is not the worst thing in the world. However, it turns out the airport does not have a transit lounge, so she had to go through with all the other passengers who were staying in the country. As she did not have a visa, the passport control people were obviously unhappy. Then it turned out this oblast’s (it is actually part of Russia, though isolated geographically) airport CLOSED over night. Several phone calls later, and she has now been allowed to stay the night in the mother and baby room with a staff member who volunteered to spend the night there.
Hopefully we will now see Alex in around 27 hours, and if nothing else, she has an interesting start to her holiday to tell her friends about back home. I might even be able to persuade her to make short post on here

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